Do you inwardly (or outwardly) groan at the thought of yet another video call?
They’re now a normal part of our working lives, but it doesn’t make them any more exciting.
Good news: Microsoft is introducing Metaverse-style avatars, called Mesh avatars, to Teams.
You’ll be able to design your own avatar, personalizing its appearance, accessories, and even choosing its reaction gestures.
According to Microsoft, it’s common for us to feel stressed and exhausted after spending a long time on camera. So using a virtual representation of yourself to reduce that stress is just one application for these new avatars.
Better still, you won’t need an expensive virtual reality headset. It’s all done using the Avatars app that’s available in the Microsoft Teams app store.
Big tech is investing billions on developing the Metaverse – a 3D virtual world that mimics the real world. Within it you’ll find many of the things you’re already familiar with – shops, workplaces, and even social spaces. Some are predicting it will become ‘the new internet’ in the coming years.
It might seem wild to imagine a virtual world like this – but 20 years ago it was hard to imagine routinely having a mobile video calls with someone on the other side of the world.
Times change, and it’s really exciting.
Right now the new avatar feature is only available in the Teams preview build, but we’ll get a general release date soon.
Will you encourage your people to use personalized avatars in Teams? Want to find more ways to make work more fun for your team? We can help. Get in touch.
IT Haven Acquires Computer Troubleshooters of Pittsburgh Franchise
IT Haven has acquired Computer Troubleshooters in response to the owner retiring and to ensure that IT Haven leverages the extensive and expert knowledge of Computer Troubleshooters employees
Richland, WA — IT Haven has acquired Computer Troubleshooters in Pittsburgh, PA after their owner retired, and so IT Haven is able to leverage the two decades of collective experience and knowledge of their employees that will benefit IT Haven clients with unparalleled data management and security.
As a result of this important acquisition, IT Haven will be able to utilize the vast career knowledge of the employees at Computer Troubleshooters. This will ensure that IT Haven clients continue to receive exceptional quality specialized solutions.
IT Haven is committed to having patient data properly backed up and protected, so medical practitioners can focus on patient care.
IT Haven Services
Among the world-class services that IT Haven provides for its customers are the following:
Premium EDR Services – These EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) services provide companies with the upmost security and ensures they are optimally protected. The main objective of endpoint detection and response is to integrate multiple layers of threat prevention, detection, and response into a single solution.
Security Management Solutions – These solutions keep IT Haven’s clients’ systems and data secure, and they are tailored to fit the unique needs of each individual client. From IT Haven’s hardware to the services they use and implement, they provide an extensive solution that has been strategically engineered to keep their clients’ data secure.In addition, IT Haven keeps up to date with the current threats that are circulating and reviews their solutions in order to maintain the highest level of security for their customers.
Full-Suite Outsourced IT – IT Haven delivers end-to-end full-service IT support to businesses, so they never have to worry about IT issues again.
SASE – SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a client’s cloud network. It is wrapped up with high-security protocols to ensure a fast, safe cloud network.
VoIP – IT Haven offers customized phone solutions for business needs with exceptional support and fair pricing.
vCIO Consulting – IT Haven meets regularly with their clients to assess and plan in order to help them grow.
About IT Haven
At IT Haven, we offer specialized solutions, built for each individual company suited for their specific industry. For the industries that require mandated security to maintain their credentials or licensing, such as the healthcare and financial industries, we at IT Haven are knowledgeable and able to implement these requirements.
We take pride in being an important asset to all the companies which we manage by resolving their day-to-day issues, keeping their data safe and secure, increasing productivity, and helping them grow to their highest potential.
While Windows 11 is only just celebrating its first birthday, we’re already hearing our first rumors about what Windows 12 will have in store.
There’s no rush for the time being – we won’t see this new operating system until the back end of 2024 – but we love to be ready for what’s coming next, so here’s what we know so far…
Details are sketchy and as usual; Microsoft is being coy about what it’s planning. But we’ve been digging into how it could look. And it’s… different!
If our research is correct, we’ll see a floating taskbar dock and a search bar taking top-center position. The widgets panel and Action Centre will move to the top of the screen instead of the bottom.
We don’t expect a big change when it comes to hardware requirements, but they’re unlikely to cause the same headaches that arose with the launch of Windows 11. That’s because more PCs will be compatible out of the box.
That said, some of the security hardware required by Windows 11 will likely become more important as Microsoft keeps its focus firmly on security.
Above all, we’re expecting to see more of the stream of minor improvements that make such a big difference to useability. Making Windows 12 stable and bug free will be the number one priority – good news for all business users.
There will undoubtedly be more updates in the coming months. We’ll share the most important ones with you as we hear more from Microsoft.
If you haven’t yet made the move to Windows 11, now could be a great time. We can help with that. So, if you’re thinking about the upgrade, just get in touch.
Microsoft Teams has fast become one of THE most useful business tools for the way we work today.
No matter where your people work from, they can communicate and collaborate quickly and reliably.
But this remote way of working can also open the door to some MAJOR security issues.
New research shows that nearly HALF of employees frequently share confidential and sensitive files via Teams.
That can be a big problem if employees are using personal equipment rather than company issued kit… it’s simply not as secure as work devices.
More than half of people surveyed say they’ve shared ‘business critical’ information using personal devices. Worse still, 48% admitted they’ve accidentally sent files they shouldn’t have – possibly to the wrong person!
So how can you be sure that your people are using Teams in the safest, most secure way?
The solution lies with regular training and cyber security awareness for employees at all levels of your business – from trainee to CEO.
And you need to make sure you have all the right safeguards in place to protect your sensitive business data. Because if it fell into the wrong hands, the results could be an expensive nightmare, potentially with legal consequences. Just imagine if sensitive employee information got shared outside of the business…
Remember, even a trusted app like Teams is only as safe as the people who use it and the devices it’s installed on.
If you need help with cyber security training, or putting the right protections in place, get in touch.
None of your Team would Fall for this Trick… Would They?
Cyber criminals have a reputation for constantly coming up with new ways to scam us into handing over login details or sensitive data.
And while you might think your team would spot an attempted attack, you could be surprised. We’ve seen a lot of intelligent people – including many business leaders – caught out over the years.
One of the latest scams is very retro… and that seems to be why people are falling for it.
Cyber criminals have gone back to basics. They’re sending USB drives in the post.
The packaging and branding on the drives suggests they’re from Microsoft (they are not).
The story is there’s an updated version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus on the drive and it needs to be installed straightaway.
Of course, this is a complete lie. Microsoft has confirmed that these packages aren’t genuine. It’s warning people it would never send out unsolicited packages.
If you plug the drive into your computer, it will detect a “virus” and ask you to call a support line.
The scammers at the other end will pretend to remove the virus, gaining your trust. And then they’ll ask for payment details to help complete your subscription setup.
It’s old fashioned, but we can see how the mixture of the physical USB, the belief it’s from Microsoft and the fake support line would be compelling for someone who’s busy and just wants to get back to work.
We’re expecting elaborate, clever attacks through our email. Our guard is down with this mix of events.
Play it safe and warn everyone in your business about this scam.
This is also a good time to review the software and staff training you use to protect your business.
At IT Haven, we offer specialized solutions, built for each individual Company suited for their specific Industry. For the Industries which require mandated Security to maintain their credentials or licensing, such as the Healthcare and Financial Industries, we at IT Haven are knowledgeable and able to implement these requirements.
We take pride in being an important asset to all the Companies which we manage by resolving their day-to-day issues, keeping their data safe and secure, increasing productivity and helping them grow to their highest potential.
The use of Microsoft Teams has just exploded in the last few years, and it now boasts 270 million people using it every month. Of course, it was the right tool at the right time when we all rushed to working from home at the start of the pandemic. But the growth of Teams has continued, even if some believe the growth has slowed down a little recently.
Teams is so important to some businesses, that the owners and managers wonder how they ever managed without it. Teams gives us the ability to stay connected wherever we’re working, and to collaborate on projects with no fuss. Because it’s part of the Microsoft 365 package, it’s the logical solution to keep a team working together in the hybrid work age.
One of the things that makes Teams so special is Microsoft’s commitment to constantly making improvements and adding features. They’re not just making the core features better. They’re helping all of us be more productive and less distracted. Over the past few months, we’ve seen new features such as a virtual whiteboard you can use to throw around ideas in a video meeting. Another improvement is improved chat features, such as pinning chats to the top. You can also filter messages more easily. And change your view to allow you to focus just on the task you’re working on. There are always more new features in development to make the experience even better.
There are three new features being released soon that we’re excited about.
The first is due for release later this month. This feature feels like it should have been there from day one. When you rename a Teams channel, it will automatically change the name of corresponding SharePoint folder. This will help to make everything a lot more organised and will save you time hunting for the right folder.
Then in June, a new Chat With Self feature will be released. This will allow you to send yourself notes, messages, files, and images. How have we lived without this feature for so long?! We think this could be a real game changer.
And finally, an improvement to Teams calls you make from your browser, rather than the Teams app. It should be the same experience with the same features in both.
Of course, there are many other updates being released throughout the rest of the year. With Teams, there’s always an exciting new update on the way.